Cane miller locks plant after bridge is flooded

18Jan 2021
Gerald Kitabu
The Guardian
Cane miller locks plant after bridge is flooded

​​​​​​​MTIBWA Sugar Estate Ltd has temporarily suspended production following heavy rains that caused water to flow over the temporary bridge used by vehicles to ferry cane from Dakawa farms to the factory.

Mtibwa sugar Estates Ltd Agricultural Manager Nassoro Abubakari show the Can stationed at Dakawa due to lack of bridge. Photo by Gerald Kitabu

After the temporary bridge was flooded, vehicles ferrying sugarcane to the factory were left stranded at the weekend without other options as there is no permanent bridge across Wami River to the factory.

The situation prompted the regional authorities to speed up work at the new Makutano Bridge which is still under construction so that it connects Dakawa sugarcane farms to the factory.

Nassoro Abubakari, the Mtibwa Sugar farm manager told researchers from the Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI), that the two sugarcanes growing areas of Mtibwa and Dakawa were separated by massive water overflow at the temporary bridge with the current heavy rains in some parts of Morogoro Region.

The situation prevented vehicles ferrying sugarcanes from Dakawa to reach the factory, thus within two weeks the factory lost more than 500 metric tonnes of cane stationed at Dakawa. When processed, this haul produces 50 tonnes of sugar priced at around 100m/-, he said.

Rains have been pounding the area for the past two weeks, waylaying some weak infrastructure in various areas, he pointed out.

This reporter saw decaying canes loaded in several vehicles at Dakawa, after delivery to the factory failed, as Makutano Bridge is still under construction.

“This situation has forced the factory to stop sugar production to wait until the weather stabilizes, the manager noted, lamenting the loss of 500 metric tonnes of cane worth 100m/- when processed into sugar.

“These are the challenges we face with heavy rains. We urge the government to push the contractor to finish this job early before the long rains start in March so that we have smooth operations at the factory,” he appealed.

He said the company made plenty of effort to maximize its sugar output, “but one of our biggest challenges is the weak bridge on the big river.”

 Mtibwa Sugar Estate Ltd wants to make sure that the sugar production goal is achieved, but to achieve this the government must push the contractor to work around the clock so that the factory can resume full production of sugar rapidly enough and avoid further losses, he emphasized..

“Our factory can produce about 65,000 metric tonnes per annum but currently our production stands at 40,000 metric tonnes of sugar. We are working hard to ensure we produce more to reach the 100,000 metric tonnes of sugar in the next five years,” he stated.

TARI Director General Dr. Geoffrey Mkamilo commended the ongoing construction work on the bridge saying the government was addressing challenges facing the private sector and seeks to ensure that the bridge is completed on time. This will enable private sector firms to run production activities smoothly, he asserted. Read More...

Top Stories